Nov. 16, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 24 Ohio State University women’s volleyball team concludes its regular season road slate embarking on a trip to the state of Illinois to face Northwestern and the Fighting Illini (Nov. 18-19). Both Big Ten clashes are booked for 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET start.
HISTORY WITH THE WILDCATS AND FIGHTING ILLINI
The Buckeyes own a 54-20 advantage in the all-time series with Northwestern and are winners of four straight. Ohio State is 12-2 vs. the Wildcats since Geoff Carlston’s arrival in 2008. Illinois holds a slight upper hand all-time, defeating the Buckeyes 40 times in 78 meetings. Ohio State arose victorious in both matches last season, however, and has taken three of the last four against the Fighting Illini.
HUGHES DOES IT ALL IN WIN OVER NITTANY LIONS
Taylor Hughes was everywhere in Ohio State’s five-set triumph over No. 10 Penn State last week, registering the first triple-double by a Buckeye since 2007 (Brianna McCarthy). Spending half her time as the setter and half as an attacker allowed her to shine in contributing 34 assists, 12 digs and 10 kills.
ANOTHER RANKED FOE DOWNED BY OSU
The Buckeyes outlasted 10th-ranked Penn State last week (Nov. 12), representing Ohio State’s fourth victory over a Top-25 team in 2016. Then-No. 16 Texas A&M, top-ranked Nebraska and No. 11 Michigan State also fell victim to Buckeye wins.
The Ohio State women’s volleyball program has been under the leadership of head coach Geoff Carlston for 303 matches and accumulated an overall record of 188-115 (.620) since his arrival in 2008. He needs just three more wins to surpass Sue Collins (1973-79) for the second most wins in program history.
In addition, Ohio State has racked up 976 victories overall since 1971 with an all-time winning percentage of .640 (976-550). That mark includes a 316-134 (.702) ledger inside St. John Arena.
BRINGING IN MORE BUCKEYES
A quartet of highly-touted prep players have signed on to become the next class of Buckeyes to join the women’s volleyball program. Head coach Geoff Carlston and staff scoured the country to find the talented group hailing from four different states, including a native Buckeye in Lauren Witte from Mentor. Joining her in the 2017 class will be Hannah Gruensfelder (Weldon Springs, Mo.), Becca Mauer (Houston, Texas) and Ayanna Swan (Richmond, Va.) — all signing National Letters of Intent to attend and compete at The Ohio State University.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
A field of 330 NCAA member institutions sponsoring Division I Women’s Volleyball programs will be trimmed down to 64 teams to compete in the single-elimination NCAA Tournament coming to a crescendo with the Semifinals and Finals hosted right here in the state’s capital (see below). Thirty-two at-large selections to go along with the 32 schools receiving automatic qualification through conference championships will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
COLUMBUS — THE CITY THAT CROWNS CHAMPIONS
The 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held in Nationwide Arena. The NCAA Semifinals are contested on Dec. 15, followed two days later by the crowning of a national champion on Saturday, Dec. 17, in front of a national television audience on ESPN. Tickets are ON SALE NOW! In addition, volleyball fans can also look forward to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship which is also being hosted in Ohio’s capital city (St. John Arena — May 4-6, 2017).
Taylor Sandbothe – OHIO STATE’S ALL-TIME BLOCKS QUEEN
Taylor Sandbothe surpassed Dawn McDougall (1988-91) for the most career blocks in Ohio State history on Nov. 2 vs. Wisconsin. Her third block of that evening marked the 518th of her career and launched her to the top of the all-time OSU list. She now sits at 528 total blocks.
Sandbothe’s assault on the OSU Record Books includes a Top-20 standing in nine additional categories. The complete list is: 528 total blocks (1st), 105 solo blocks (2nd), 423 block assists (2nd), 1.13 blocks/set (2nd), .308 attack percentage (6th), 1,778.5 points (7th), 1,387 kills (10th), 3,107 attempts (13th), 3.81 points/set (14th) and 2.97 kills/set (19th).
Valeria León – OHIO STATE’S ALL-TIME DIGS QUEEN
With her first dig of the night against Michigan State on Oct. 22, Valeria León took sole possession of the Ohio State school record for career digs. Her 1,573rd dig set the new mark and she enters tonight’s contest with 1,676 to her name. The Buckeye libero also has control of the best digs per set average in school history, putting up 3.48 per set since arriving at Ohio State in 2013.
Ohio State comes in at No. 24 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes are one of seven Big Ten teams ranked in the Top-25 while Purdue is receiving votes as well. The Big Ten Conference combined for an overall non-conference record of 122-36 (.772).
#13 Michigan State
#15 Penn State
#24 Ohio State